Clark Howard

Tesla's home solar system price cut can save you up to $5,000

Tesla just lowered the price on its solar shingles and other whole house solar components by up to 25% in an effort to boost sales of its under-performing home solar system.

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Tesla’s move will save homeowners between $3,000 and $5,000

Tesla has confirmed to Reuters that it's now slashing installation costs on its home solar systems after sales of the systems have trailed off.

A company executive told the news agency that any residential customer getting a quote after November 15, 2018 will realize an average savings of between $3,000 and $5,000 on material and installations costs versus prior quotes.

Tesla has struggled with its solar installation business since its 2016 acquisition of Solar City, which was then the largest residential solar installer in the country.

A year later, Tesla began accepting orders for its solar roofing shingles, which look like this:

But despite a lot of buzz around the shingles and Tesla’s residential solar initiative, it didn’t get off the ground in quite the way the company had hoped.

Installations have fallen from 200 megawatts (MW) a quarter in early 2016 when Solar City was at its peak to less than half of that — just 93 MW — in the third quarter 2018, according to Reuters.

Adding to the woes is the fact that Tesla tinkered extensively with Solar City's successful sales model, which relied heavily on door-to-door canvassing in solar-friendly states, among other proven approaches.

Meanwhile, Tesla also terminated a retail relationship with Home Depot in 2017. That means the all-electric automaker could no longer demo its whole house solar approach at some 800 stores across the country.

Tesla executives now hope a lower price on its solar systems will bring in more customers.

You can request your new, lower quote here.

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